FAA Medical Reform defined

FAA Medical Reform

Today, January 11th 2017, the FAA announced its final rule on Medical Reform to go into effect May 1st. A pilot may opt to continue using their medical certificate or opt to exercise this rule instead.

It essentially means the new medical requirements are:

  • Possess a valid driver’s license;
  • Have held a medical certificate at any time after July 15, 2006;
  • Have not had the most recently held medical certificate revoked, suspended, or withdrawn;
  • Have not had the most recent application for airman medical certification completed and denied;
  • Have taken a medical education course within the past 24 calendar months;
  • Have completed a comprehensive medical examination within the past 48 months;
  • Be under the care of a physician for certain medical conditions;
  • Have been found eligible for special issuance of a medical certificate for certain specified mental health, neurological, or cardiovascular conditions;
  • Consent to a National Driver Register check;
  • Fly only certain small aircraft, at a limited altitude and speed, and only within the United States;
  • Not fly for compensation or hire.

Keep in mind the FAA can still suspend or revoke a medical certificate if it finds evidence to do so.

Under this rule the covered aircraft under FESSA:

(1) is authorized under Federal law to carry not more than 6 occupants; and (2) has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds.

Section 2307(a)(8) of FESSA requires that the individual operate in accordance with the following operating requirements:

• The covered aircraft is carrying not more than 5 passengers.

• The individual is operating the covered aircraft under visual flight rules or instrument flight rules.

• The flight, including each portion of that flight, is not carried out—

• for compensation or hire, including that no passenger or property on the flight is being carried for compensation or hire;

• at an altitude that is more than 18,000 feet above mean sea level;

• outside the United States, unless authorized by the country in which the flight is conducted; or

• at an indicated airspeed exceeding 250 knots.

List of affected Subjects:

14 CFR part 61 Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

14 CFR part 68 Aircraft, Airmen, Health, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

14 CFR part 91 Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety.

It is a 77 page document and goes through much more than I can give here. You can read the full document here until it is published or amended:


as always, trust but verify….

Happy flying,



Posted in Aviation, Aviation Medical, Aviation Weather | Leave a comment

Ham Night before Christmas, Tracker and Santa Net

Merry Christmas Fellow Hams!!!

Santa Tracker:

For over 60 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight. Follow Santa as he makes his magical journey!


Santa Net:

Every year on 3916, we give good little boys and girls a chance to talk to Santa Claus at the North Pole!   It is indeed a magical experience to experience kids talking with Santa through the magic of Amateur Radio!

The Santa Net is on the air every night, November 25th through December 24th at 7:30 PM Central.

To participate in The Santa Net, just have your kids prepared to tell Santa their top 2-3 gift wishes.

Ham Night Before Christmas:

T’was the night before Christmas,
And all through two-meters,
Not a signal was keying up
Any repeaters.The antennas reached up
From the tower, quite high,
To catch the weak signals
That bounced from the sky.The children, Tech-Pluses,
Took their HTs to bed,
And dreamed of the day
They’d be Extras, instead.Mom put on her headphones,
I plugged in the key,
And we tuned 40 meters
For that rare ZK3.When the meter was pegged
by a signal with power.
It smoked a small diode,
and, I swear, shook the tower.Mom yanked off her phones,
And with all she could muster
Logged a spot of the signal
On the DX Packet Cluster,While I ran to the window
And peered up at the sky,
To see what could generate
RF that high.It was way in the distance,
But the moon made it gleam –
A flying sleigh, with an
Eight element beam,And a little old driver
who looked slightly mean.
So I though for a moment,
That it might be Wayne Green.But no, it was Santa
The Santa of Hams.
On a mission, this Christmas
To clean up the bands.He circled the tower,
Then stopped in his track,
And he slid down the coax
Right into the shack.While Mom and I hid
Behind stacks of CQ,
This Santa of hamming
Knew just what to do.He cleared off the shack desk
Of paper and parts,
And filled out all my late QSLs
For a start.He ran copper braid,
Took a steel rod and pounded
It into the earth, till
The station was grounded.He tightened loose fittings,
Re-soldered connections,
Cranked down modulation,
Installed lightning protection.He neutralized tubes
In my linear amp…(Never worked right before —
Now it works like a champ).A new, low-pass filter
Cleaned up the TV,
He corrected the settings
In my TNC.He repaired the computer
That would not compute,
And he backed up the hard drive
And got it to boot.Then, he reached really deep
In the bag that he brought,
And he pulled out a big box,
“A new rig?” I thought!”A new Kenwood? An Icom?
A Yaesu, for me?!”
(If he thought I’d been bad
it might be QRP!)Yes! The Ultimate Station!
How could I deserve this?
Could it be all those hours
that I worked Public Service?He hooked it all up
And in record time, quickly
Worked 100 countries,
All down on 160.I should have been happy,
It was my call he sent,
But the cards and the postage
Will cost two month’s rent!He made final adjustments,
And left a card by the key:
“To Gary, from Santa Claus.
Seventy-Three.”Then he grabbed his HT,
Looked me straight in the eye,
Punched a code on the pad,
And was gone – no good bye.I ran back to the station,
And the pile-up was big,
But a card from St. Nick
Would be worth my new rig.
Oh, too late, for his final
came over the air.
It was copied all over.
It was heard everywhere.The Ham’s Santa exclaimed
What a ham might expect,
“Merry Christmas to all,
And to all, good DX.”© 1996 Gary Pearce, KN4AQ
Permission granted for any print or electronic reproduction.


Have fun and 73’s,

Let me know what questions you want me to address or if anything is unclear. My email is k0fey@arrl.net


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People don’t do the things they need to

Taking a time out for a quick life hack. I wrote this article for my work and thought you might benefit from it.

People don’t do the things they need to.

You ask your child to take out the trash or clean their room. An employee is asked to change to a new process when they perform a task. You ask your significant other to fill the tank on the car on their way home. They don’t.

There are a few reasons that bubble to the top as to why people do not do what is asked of them even if it is better for everyone that they do the new thing. And I am sorry to say, it is probably your fault. Yes, Your fault. Let’s go through some of the reasons why things just don’t get done and what part of the communications breakdown we are looking at.

They do not understand why they should do it.

Does everyone understand the impact of doing or not doing the task by a specific deadline? You finally got that big client meeting tomorrow. Everything has to go perfect and you do not want to spend time filling the tank when you could focus on preparing or being a little early to the meeting. Did you tell them that? Or did you leave it as “Please fill the tank on the car.”? Explaining when and why you need it done might give the motivation for others to do something needed. Give people the “big picture”.

Another example… Your company has rolled out a new case system. Employees have access to both and although you asked them to use the new system they just still use the old one. What are the benefits of the new system? Why do we have it when the old one works well enough? If you cannot answer these then you will not get buy in for others to use it either.

Unless you just force them. (<- not a great scenario in the long run)

Ever wonder why sometimes an employee will surpass the expectations of a business? It is because they are simply being rewarded. These can be rewards such as more money, peer recognition, a competitive nature, a little time off for family or the odd golf game. The go-getters in an organization are getting what they need and giving back in abundance. Make sure you have talked to your employee and understand what it is that motivates them.

They do not understand how to do it.

Have they been properly trained and comfortable navigating any deviations of how to perform the new task? You had them watch the training video and it isn’t so hard. Is the training video in terms only you understand? Use plain English instead of buzz words.

Did you give them adequate training? Does an employee know they can spellcheck in outlook with a click of a button or are they speed-proof-reading their emails when they send them out to customers… and making the company not look so good in the process? Sometimes people are trying to be efficient and get their jobs done quicker but skipping due diligence. Ensure you have given them the best way to do it for them and not just the best way for you. Make sure they understand the reasons the thing being asked benefits them. It sounds simple enough but is often overlooked.

They do not want to do it.

Is the punishment for doing it wrong larger than the punishment for not doing it at all? All too often you hold those accountable that do it wrong and simply are annoyed with the ones that aren’t even trying. People will almost always go the least painful route given. Sometimes it is as simple as there is no reward for doing something as opposed to not. (Or no punishment for not doing something)

On the other hand, maybe you are making it too easy for them not to. Have you given the same steps several times to someone and they do not seem to get it? Do you micromanage? Will you do it for them if they do not? If you are there to “constantly give them the same steps over and over and they are simply not following a “rinse and repeat” formula” then you will want to look at this one. Maybe the solution is to back away and set the expectation that they will be held accountable from now on.

They can’t do it.

Could it be that you have not given all the tools to do the task? This could be knowledge, access, support, etc. Make sure the person has everything they need to do something. Have they seen it done and do they know how to start? Sometimes people are just missing a piece of the puzzle to get them started or past a hurdle because they have not encountered the situation before.

You child is supposed to take out the trash. They don’t. Do they know that they should take out the bathroom and kitchen trash and empty those into the waste can? Have you shown them where the replacement bags are and the schedule for trash day?


All too often we overlook fully communicating. We are focused on our part of getting something done and forget to manage our expectations to others. Next time you are having trouble with someone not doing something, try ensuring they have all the info. Help others understand why they are being asked, tell them how to do something, help them understand the benefits to everyone and give them all the resources they need to do it.


Jonathan Hamilton

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Aviation Maintenance Squawks

Taken from here.

After every flight, pilots fill out a form, called a gripe sheet which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.

Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some maintenance complaints submitted by pilots and the solutions recorded by maintenance engineers. By the way, the airline these came from is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident.

Pilot: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement. Engineers: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

Pilot: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough. Engineers: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

Pilot: Something loose in cockpit. Engineers: Something tightened in cockpit.

Pilot: Dead bugs on windshield. Engineers: Live bugs on back-order.

Pilot: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent. Engineers: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

Pilot: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear. Engineers: Evidence removed.

Pilot: DME volume unbelievably loud. Engineers: DME volume set to more believable level.

Pilot: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick. Engineers: That’s what friction locks are for.

Pilot: IFF inoperative in OFF mode. Engineers: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

Pilot: Suspected crack in windshield. Engineers: Suspect you’re right.

Pilot: Number 3 engine missing. Engineers: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

Pilot: Aircraft handles funny. Engineers: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

Pilot: Target radar hums. Engineers: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

Pilot: Mouse in cockpit. Engineers: Cat installed.

Pilot: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer. Engineers: Took hammer away from midget




Problem – Test flight OK, except autoland very rough. Solution – Autoland not installed on this aircraft.

Problem – No. 2 propeller seeping prop fluid. Solution – No. 2 propeller seepage normal. Nos. 1, 3 and 4 propellers lack normal seepage.

Problem – Something loose in cockpit. Solution – Something tightened in cockpit.

Problem – Dead bugs on windshield. Solution – Live bugs on backorder.

Problem – Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200-fpm descent. Solution – Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

Problem – Evidence of leak on right main landing gear. Solution – Evidence removed.

Problem – DME volume unbelievably loud. Solution – Volume set to more believable level.

Problem – Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick. Solution – That’s what they are there for!

Problem – IFF inoperative. Solution – IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

Problem – Suspected crack in windscreen. Solution – Suspect you’re right.

Problem – Number 3 engine missing. Solution – Engine found on right wing after brief search.

Problem – Aircraft handles funny. Solution – Aircraft warned to “Straighten up, Fly Right, and Be Serious.”

Problem – Target radar hums. Solution – Reprogrammed target radar with words.

Problem – Mouse in cockpit. Solution – Cat installed. Defect: The autopilot doesn’t. Action: IT DOES NOW.

Defect: Seat cushion in 13F smells rotten. Action: Fresh seat cushion on order.

Defect: Turn & slip indicator ball stuck in center during turns. Action: Congratulations. You just made your first coordinated turn!

Defect: Whining sound heard on engine shutdown. Action: Pilot removed from aircraft.

Defect: Pilot’s clock inoperative. Action: Wound clock.

Defect: Autopilot tends to drop a wing when fuel imbalance reaches 500 pounds. Action: Flight manual limits maximum fuel imbalance to 300 pounds.

Defect: #2 ADF needle runs wild. Action: Caught and tamed #2 ADF needle.

Defect: Unfamiliar noise coming from #2 engine. Action: Engine run for four hours. Noise now familiar.

Defect: Noise coming from #2 engine. Sounds like man with little hammer. Action: Took little hammer away from man in #2 engine.

Defect: Whining noise coming from #2 engine compartment. Action: Returned little hammer to man in #2 engine.

Defect: Flight attendant cold at altitude. Action: Ground checks OK.

Defect: 3 roaches in cabin. Action: 1 roach killed, 1 wounded, 1 got away.

Defect: Weather radar went ape! Action: Opened radar, let out ape, cleaned up mess!

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Ham Radio Fests!!!!

Ham Radio Fests!!!!


09/24/2016 | SMARTSFEST 2016
Henderson, MN

Type: ARRL Hamfest

Sponsor: SERT Radio Club & SMARTS Club

Learn More


10/01/2016 | Last Chance Tailgate
Plymouth, MN

Type: ARRL Hamfest

Sponsor: Twin City FM Club

Website: http://tcfmc.org

Learn More

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Combing the internet and this fell out:.. trust but verify, folks.


Standard Pressure, Temperature, and Lapse Rate
Sea level standard pressure = 29.92″ hg
Standard lapse rate = -1″ hg. for each 1000′ increase in altitude
Sea level standard temperature = 15°C / 59°F
Standard Lapse Rate = -2°C / -3.5°F for each 1000’ increase in altitude

Take Off
T/O distance increases 15% for each 1000′ DA above sea level
A 10% change in A/C weight will result in a 20% change in T/O distance
Available engine HP decreases 3% for each 1000′ of altitude above sea level
Fixed pitch, non-turbo A/C climb performance decreases 8% for each 1000′ DA above sea level
Variable pitch, non-turbo A/C climb performance decreases 7% for each 1000′ DA above sea level
During each 1000′ of climb, expect to see a loss of approximately 1” of manifold pressure
During each 1000′ of climb, expect TAS to increase 2%
If you don’t have 70% of your take off speed by runway midpoint, abort the take off
Level Off – Lead your level off by 10% of airplane’s rate of climb. e.g. – 500’/minute rate of climb; lead level off by 50′
Pressure Altitude – Set A/C altimeter to 29.92 and read PA from the altimeter
DA increases or decreases 120′ for each 10°C the temperature varies from standard temperature
Standard temperature (ISA) decreases 2°C Per 1000′ increase in altitude
TAS increases 2% over IAS for each 1000′ above sea level

Maneuvering speed Va = ~1.7 x Vs1
Va decreases 1% for each 2% reduction in gross weight
Vy decreases ~1/2 to 1 knot for each 1000′ DA
Vy, Vx and Vg (best glide) decreases ~1/2 Knot for Each 100 pounds Under MGW
Vr = ~1.15 x Vs

The width of one finger = ~5NM on a sectional chart (average person)
Tip of the thumb to the knuckle = ~10NM on a sectional chart (average person)
Cruise fuel consumption of a non-turbocharged A/C engine = ~1/2 the rated HP/10
Cruise climb airspeed should be reduced by 1% for each 1000′ of climb
To determine a relatively proficient cruise climb speed, take the difference between Vx and Vy and add that sum to Vy. For example, if Vx = 65 and Vy = 75, the difference is 10KTS. Add 10KTS to Vy (75KTS) and you have a cruise climb of 85KTS
Final Approach Speed = 1.3 x Vso. Also known as Vref
A tailwind of 10% of your final approach speed increases your landing distance by 20%; A headwind of 10% decreases landing distance by 20%
A 10% change in airspeed will cause a 20% change in stopping distance
A slippery or wet runway may increase your landing distance by 50%
For each knot above Vref over the numbers, the touchdown point will be 100′ further down the runway
For each 1000′ increase in field elevation, stopping distance increases 4%
A 10 Reduction in Approach Angle Will Increase Landing Distance 13%
10° – 25° of flaps add more lift than drag; 25° – 40° flaps add more drag than lift

Maximum Glide
Weight has no effect on max. glide range or ratio
Weight does have an effect on max. glide airspeed
Reduce glide speed 5% for each 10% decrease in gross weight
Tailwinds increase glide range; headwinds reduce glide range
With a 10, 20 or 30 KT tailwind, reduce glide speed by 4, 6 or 8 KT, respectively
With a headwind, increase glide speed by 50% of the headwind component
Maximum Glide = Minimum Drag. Low on fuel? Fly an airspeed equal to maximum glide to achieve maximum endurance

Rollout from a turn – Lead your rollout by an amount equal to _ your bank angle. e.g. – 30° angle of bank; lead rollout by 15° prior to new heading
The radius of a standard rate turn in meters = TAS x 10
Most structural icing occurs between 0°C to –10°C
Deviate 10-20 miles upwind around thunderstorms; Don’t fly under anvil
Hail may be found 10 miles or more underneath the anvil
Dew point of 10°C or 53°F = Enough moisture present for severe thunderstorms

Compiled by Jim Van Namee. Jim is a CFII at Taos Regional Airport. He is a retired Naval Aviator and owner of Silver Eagle Aviation. Jim can be reached at 505-377-6786 or jimvn@aol.com.

Editor’s note: These “rules of thumb” are meant as general observations. Pilots should consult official materials, such as approved charts and aircraft manufacturers operating handbooks, for information specific to their aircraft or flight.

Copied from: http://www.swaviator.com/html/issueJF03/Basics1203.html


Happy flying,



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When can I fly…

When can I fly? Is this an easy question or a difficult one? The answer is both. If you suspect you are creating a risk by flying then choose your alternative… Don’t fly. The rules state to follow guidelines, but these guidelines are general and although legal, may not be smart.

Personal Minimums should be within legal limits but with your “smart filter” added. What are “Personal Minimums”? Click here

Always note that I am not an instructor. This is my learning journey to becoming a private pilot and you are responsible for having “all the current information”.

Sec. 91.155 — Basic VFR weather minimums.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section and §91.157, no person may operate an aircraft under VFR when the flight visibility is less, or at a distance from clouds that is less, than that prescribed for the corresponding altitude and class of airspace in the following table:

Airspace Flight visibility Distance from clouds
Class A Not Applicable Not Applicable.
Class B 3 statute miles Clear of Clouds.
Class C 3 statute miles 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
Class D 3 statute miles 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
Class E:
Less than 10,000 feet MSL 3 statute miles 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal
At or above 10,000 feet MSL 5 statute miles 1,000 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
1 statute mile horizontal.
Class G:
1,200 feet or less above the surface (regardless of MSL altitude)
Day, except as provided in §91.155(b) 1 statute mile Clear of clouds.
Night, except as provided in §91.155(b) 3 statute miles 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
More than 1,200 feet above the surface but less than 10,000 feet MSL
Day 1 statute mile 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
Night 3 statute miles 500 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
2,000 feet horizontal.
More than 1,200 feet above the surface and at or above 10,000 feet MSL 5 statute miles 1,000 feet below.
1,000 feet above.
1 statute mile horizontal.

(b) Class G Airspace. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, the following operations may be conducted in Class G airspace below 1,200 feet above the surface:

(1) Helicopter. A helicopter may be operated clear of clouds if operated at a speed that allows the pilot adequate opportunity to see any air traffic or obstruction in time to avoid a collision.

(2) Airplane, powered parachute, or weight-shift-control aircraft. If the visibility is less than 3 statute miles but not less than 1 statute mile during night hours and you are operating in an airport traffic pattern within1/2mile of the runway, you may operate an airplane, powered parachute, or weight-shift-control aircraft clear of clouds.

(c) Except as provided in §91.157, no person may operate an aircraft beneath the ceiling under VFR within the lateral boundaries of controlled airspace designated to the surface for an airport when the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet.

(d) Except as provided in §91.157 of this part, no person may take off or land an aircraft, or enter the traffic pattern of an airport, under VFR, within the lateral boundaries of the surface areas of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace designated for an airport—

(1) Unless ground visibility at that airport is at least 3 statute miles; or

(2) If ground visibility is not reported at that airport, unless flight visibility during landing or takeoff, or while operating in the traffic pattern is at least 3 statute miles.

(e) For the purpose of this section, an aircraft operating at the base altitude of a Class E airspace area is considered to be within the airspace directly below that area.

[Doc. No. 24458, 56 FR 65660, Dec. 17, 1991, as amended by Amdt. 91–235, 58 FR 51968, Oct. 5, 1993; Amdt. 91–282, 69 FR 44880, July 27, 2004]

Happy flying,



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Rod Machado is coming to Eden Prairie

Many of us have used the Rod Machado authored books in our aviation career. I personally have used the “How to fly an airplane” and “Private Pilot Handbook” by this comedic author. If you know who I am talking about you may be excited to know he will be speaking live in Eden Prairie this next weekend. If not and you are a pilot or pilot-to-be then I would highly suggest you look at some of the books by him. Rod combines comedy to help the reader remember the lessons, and it works well.

Details on the event. I reserved my spot through the FAASafety.gov Wings program.

Title: Rod Machado in Person


Date and Time: Saturday, May 21, 2016, starting at 09:00 Central Daylight Time
Speaker(s): Rod Machado

Brief Description:
Please bring a chair as this will be a packed house.

Rod Machado utilizes the humor that only he has to explain some of the most difficult aspects of flying. Rod speaks across the country and we’re lucky to have him here with us. Rod will use scenario based (though humorous) training to take us on a vivid journey of flying and flying safely. Rod will also be available for a short time before and after for autographs.

Location of Seminar: Modern Avionics
10000 Flying Cloud Dr
Eden Prairie, MN 55347

Directions to Venue:
This seminar will be located in the Modern Avionics Hanger.

Sponsoring Division: Minnesota FAASTeam

Phone: (952) 594-1184

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Wings of the North Museum at KFCM Grand Opening on May 7th from 8-2pm



Wings of the North (WOTN) is pleased to announce the Grand Opening of the Wings of the North Air Museum on Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. This celebration will take place on Saturday, May 7, from 8AM to 3PM.

A pancake breakfast will be held from 8AM to 11AM followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony. At approximately noon, weather permitting, one of the museum’s award winning airplanes, a P-51D Mustang named Sierra Sue II, will make a demonstration flight. See the P-51D up close as well as the actual Stearman Biplane that George Bush flew during training, a 1930’s aviation trainer, the aviation library, art and so much more.
This Grand Opening will mark the start of WotN weekend open hours for 2016 for the museum and store on site at the Flying Cloud Airport (KFCM). Come to the KFCM far west gate off Pioneer Trail and Starring Lake Pkwy and follow the signs.

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Personal Minimums

Please remember that weather forecasts can be just plain wrong at times. As the weather deteriorates what do you do? I cannot tell you what you can or cannot do, but I am sticking to “Personal Minimums”.

These include any pressures involving the flight.

What if I want to raise my minimums? I can use training with an instructor to set higher personal minimums. This way I know where I draw the line and what I am up against.

FAA Personal Minimums Download

Happy flying,



How fast can 7 miles visibility deteriorate? Here is my example flight at KFCM (Yes, this was planned and with a very capable Instrument rated instructor) in a Cessna 172. And now I can honestly say I would never want to try this without more training.

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